Contribution of Sun documentation team to the GDP.

Now that the GNOME 2.6 Desktop is safely released, and we have met all of
our documentation commitments logged in the Doctable* I need to refer back
to a mail that Shaun sent out a while ago. The mail was in reply to a
string, concerning the contribution of the Sun documentation team to the
GNOME Documentation Project. See the following link:
Shaun's views started us thinking. There seems to be a perception that we
in the Sun documentation team are working on jobs in secret, behind closed
doors. Also, there seems to be a perception that we are deliberately not
putting our work into CVS on a regular basis. I believe that these
perceptions have arisen from the pressure that this team is under to look
after documentation for Sun release cycles and GNOME Desktop release

Let me explain the situation:
- As I have mentioned in previous mails last year, there is a divergence of
  design between the Sun Desktop and the community GNOME Desktop. This is
  leading us to a position where we are looking after two sets of
  documentation, one set for Sun, one set for the community. We have tried
  cater for this situation up to now with marked sections, and other
  however we have stretched that solution as far as possible.
- There are multiple cycles of the Sun Desktop based on a specific
  community GNOME Desktop, for example based on GNOME 2.0, or GNOME 2.2,
while the
  community just moves on in a linear fashion to the next GNOME Desktop
  release. The Sun cycles and the GNOME cycles move at different
  rates, and are starting to clash, putting a big strain on our capacity to
  do the work either for Sun or for the community.
- The Sun Desktop is always at least one version behind the latest GNOME
  Desktop release. This implies that where we are committed to look after
  documentation for the community, we have problems getting hold of latest
  app versions. Also, the work we do in this regard does not help us to
  immediate Sun requirements. Clearly, if we have to make priority choices,
  we need to look after the immediate needs of Sun documentation.
So, what is happening is that while the rest of the community is
progressing steadily towards the next GNOME Desktop release, we in the Sun
documentation team are working at full capacity on providing documentation
for multiple Sun releases. The implication is that for long stretches of
time we just don't have the capacity to do any work on mainstream GNOME
documentation. If you don't hear from us, or we haven't put anything into
CVS for some time, the explanation is not that we are doing secret work, or
not communicating, rather that we are fully committed to looking after Sun
requirements during that time. When the time comes around for a GNOME
Desktop release, then we usually just double up our workloads to try and
look after our community commitments as well. That's what we did recently
for the GNOME 2.6 release. Our recent burst of activity is not the result
of months of secret work, rather a desperate attempt to meet our
We are going to continue working on Sun versions of documentation for GNOME
applications, and we are going to put that documentation back to the
community. However, our versions are going to be slightly different, and
slightly behind in terms of GNOME Desktop releases.
Given our limited resources, we can't continue as we have been doing. We do
want to continue contributing to the community, but we can't continue to
contribute across the board for each latest GNOME Desktop release like we
have done up to now. We are open to suggestions about the best way to


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